And yet more writing links (#SFWApro)

•I was thrown for a loop at Illogicon when someone brought up the topic of “cultural appropriation”—that writing from a cultural/racial viewpoint other than your own is wrong because it’s not your experience. This Angry Black Woman post is probably close to my own thoughts, that this would require white writers stick with writing white people, and that’s hardly a good thing. The issue is doing a good job portraying someone you’re not—Nisi Shawl discusses some traps you can fall into when trying to capture a culture foreign to your own.

Or for a specific example, Jessica McDonald writes about writers who use Native American stereotypes (Red Murderer, Noble Savage, Wise Mystic). It’s one of a series of guest posts about diversity on Jim Hines’ blog (I’d link to the list of posts, but his blog isn’t coming up in my browser).

•Abe Books looks at steampunk. Though arguably steampunk reaches back to the 1960s at least, with Wild, Wild West on TV. And here’s i09 look at Ian Ballantine, whose Ballantine Books was a pioneer in specfic paperbacks (I’d have linked to the original article i09 references, but I’d have to register to access it). I’m very familiar with Ballantine Books, but if you’re not, it’s worth checking out (the book Two-Bit Cultures goes into the impact of paperbacks in popularizing SF).

•Jim Hines discusses writing about rape and how badly it’s often done.

•The FFP romance blog discusses things to consider when looking for an agent: do you want someone who’ll guide your career or just sell the books? Is the agent you’ve spoken to someone you’d be comfortable with as your representative? Hat tip to The Walk of Words for the link. And here’s SFWA’s advice on agents.

•The Turtles (the rock group, not the mutant ninjas) won a lawsuit against Sirius XM for the company’s use of pre-1972 music without compensating artists. There are other similar suits on the horizon (I know, not exactly relevant to print writing, but this is where all my copyright-related links go.

•So in the same vein, here’s how copyright on videogames makes older games unsupported by the makers useless.

•A writer argues that there are benefits to spending more time on social media. More for nonfiction, though I have made occasional contacts via Facebook.

•What does it mean if an editor says your writing is uneven?

•Kate Elliott writes about writing women characters in fantasy settings. Very good. I think the best observation was to “Make conscious choices rather than default choices.”—i.e., if you’re using a cliche, do it because it works, not because that’s what everyone does.

•A nonfiction pitch shouldn’t just sell a great story idea, it has to sell you. This is more important than in fiction, as you don’t usually have a finished article to show when you pitch.

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